Minnehaha County Auditor appears to allow absentee ballots to be pulled from mail forwarding company; handling of primary election appears to be a train wreck

Following up on the story from earlier this week (no, not the CIA one), where Minnehaha County Auditor Leah Anderson made the decision to disqualify the vast majority of votes in precinct 4-16, Bret Holien, Codington County GOP Chairman, and the VP/Corporate Counsel for DakotaPost mail forwarding reached out to me at South Dakota War College over Anderson’s actions.

Why? Because Minnehaha County Auditor Anderson’s actions appear to have directly interfered with the voting from a number of people who had every right to vote absentee.

I’m sure you are aware, but those ballots she tried to reject at one of the locations were all from our customers at DakotaPost mail forwarding business the Holien family bought over 10 years ago.  You have written about it previously so I know how in tune with the issue you are, these people are mostly republicans who live abroad as diplomats, students, military, missionaries, or full time RVers that all have a constitutionally protected right to vote.  They also generate millions of dollars for Minnehaha and South Dakota in insurance and vehicle taxes alone.

Another thing is that we know that most of all the mail forwarding businesses in South Dakota, and there are several, are about 85% GOP voters.  So under the guise of election integrity (which we have secure ballot structure so their concerns are unwarranted) these absentee ballot protesting groups and Leah would try to eliminate not 132, but it will be thousands this fall, as they tend to vote mostly in presidential elections.

Bret Holien
Vice President / Corporate Counsel
DakotaPost

Disenfranchising legitimate absentee voters whose vote is protected under state & federal law is not what South Dakotans want.   And these votes could have affected the outcome in at least one major county race, as there was a county commission race within the margin of votes allowed to be pulled:

And it appears to have gotten worse for Anderson, according to a story just posted by the Argus Leader, where they moved challenges forward despite the advice of the State’s Attorney, and the Secretary of State. And Anderson said she was aware it was going to happen, as the SOS rolls Leah Anderson under the bus wheels hard in a story titled Secretary of State’s Office: Challenge to Minnehaha County ballots fell outside state law:

Haggar, along with Chief Civil Deputy State’s Attorney Eric Bogue, said Friday that they presented to both precinct boards that the challenge was not permitted under state law.

Anderson told the canvassing board that she had been made aware of the pending challenge the night before the election, and that she wasn’t sure if the precinct got in contact with each individual voter to establish their identity.

and..

“We had advised a Minnehaha County official that per state law SDCL 12-18-10 on items that are challengeable, what was being challenged didn’t fall into those parameters,” Soulek stated. “This is a county level matter, but we are deeply concerned and care about the voting right of all eligible voters.“

Read that entire story here.

What is going on, where the Minnehaha County Auditor is letting the election nuts loose on Minnehaha County?

I have a son in the Navy – as a South Dakota resident, if he chooses to vote absentee in South Dakota elections, that’s his right to do so while he’s defending our country. We don’t need election conspiracists interfering with the voting rights of our military, people out doing mission work, people temporarily residing overseas, or even people who use South Dakota as their home base for their RV Travel.

If we don’t have clear guidelines how to remove County Auditors gone wild, the Legislature needs to make those laws more clear. Because it looks like we’ve got a bad one out there.

I’m almost afraid to watch this: Minnehaha County Auditor Leah Anderson Does NOT Rule Out CIA Involvement in Irregularities.. that suggest computer manipulation in election results

This is real, and it’s out on “Worldviewtube.com” right now: South Dakota Auditor Does NOT Rule Out CIA Involvement in Irregularities and Statistically Improbable Results That Suggest Computer Manipulation in Election Results

CIA Involvement?  Oh my god.

BRANNON HOUSE: “…Congressman Posey, in this December 2020 letter written to the CIA Director and the CIA inspector General is asking for an investigation to see if there is any relationship between the CIA and any of the voting machine companies. I find that letter by Congressman Bill Posey very interesting that he would be suggesting such. What do you say?

LEAH ANDERSON: Well, I would wonder about that too. I mean, I’m so busy at work I don’t have time to do a lot of investigating about a lot of these things, but I do pay attention to a lot of the work that SD Canvassing has done, and others, and I listen to a lot of the shows like yours and umm on TruthSocial.. I’m on a lot of those platforms.  

This is a South Dakota Republican Elected County Auditor feeding this kind of batsh*t crazy.

Minnehaha County officials, you need to go watch this, and take appropriate action.

Johnson Provisions Pass the House in Annual Defense Bill

Johnson Provisions Pass the House in Annual Defense Bill

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) voted in favor of the annual defense bill (NDAA) when it passed the House. The legislation includes two policies authored by Johnson – a provision from his Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act to protect global supply chains from China’s malign influence and increase fairness in the markets, and an amendment to better understand the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) monopoly of shipping container production.

“Countering China is a crucial aspect of improving our national defense and so is strengthening our supply chains,” said Johnson. “The NDAA is a strong bill that prioritizes our troops and strengthens our national security. I’m glad my provisions were included.”

Johnson’s provision to increase fairness in global shipping markets is included in Sec. 3521 of the bill. This provision was originally included in Johnson’s Ocean Shipping Reform Implementation Act, which passed the House in March 2024 and awaits action in the Senate. Further, Johnson’s amendment (No. 346) was adopted unanimously by the House and would require Congress to better understand the production and acquisition of shipping containers from foreign adversaries.

This is a part of his larger effort to protect U.S. ports, shippers, and manufacturers from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) influence. In February, Rep. Johnson led a coalition of Members urging the Federal Maritime Commission to counter CCP dominance in global shipping exchanges. Last year, Rep. Johnson secured a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prohibit the use of the CCP state-controlled shipping platform LOGINK at U.S. ports.

Background on Johnson’s Provisions:

Section 3521: The Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE) is the more widely known Chinese shipping exchange. A “shipping exchange” is a platform that connects shippers with carriers to make agreements or contracts for transporting cargo.

Founded in 1996, the SSE is operated by the Ministry of Transport and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. The SSE is tasked by the Chinese government with regulating China’s shipping market, maintaining transaction order, and driving the development of China’s shipping market.

At times, the Chinese government has used the SSE to promote Chinese shipping interests above the interests in the market. During the COVID-19 pandemic, reports showed the Ministry of Transport refused to allow carriers to increase rates from China to the U.S. which supported Chinese exporters and continued to go against market trends. Further, there are concerns within the business community that the SSE provides confidential order flow information to domestic Chinese producers, giving them a competitive advantage over other foreign producers.

Amendment No. 346: U.S. companies and the federal government rely on shipping containers to transport goods across the world. The COVID-19 pandemic alerted consumers and government to the use and availability of shipping containers.

Federal Maritime Commissioner Carl Bentzel conducted a study on the PRC’s control of container manufacturing, and found that of the 44.2 million maritime container global inventory, over 95 percent are manufactured in China. In fact, Commissioner Bentzel stated, “when demand for ocean containers increased, Chinese-based intermodal equipment manufacturers were notably slow in ramping up production, raising the question of whether this was part of a deliberate strategy to manipulate prices.”

The United States should not solely rely on foreign adversaries for containers, which are not only used to ship consumer goods, but also sensitive defense systems. Congress should better understand our country’s reliance on foreign adversaries, like the PRC, for production and acquisition of shipping containers in order to make effective policy decisions to better secure supply chains from China.

The FY25 NDAA:

  • Improves Servicemember Quality of Life:
    • Boosts compensation
    • Improves housing
    • Ensures access to medical care
    • Enhances support for military spouses
    • Increases access to childcare
  • Restores American Deterrence
    • Deters China
    • Restores Lethality
    • Defends Israel
    • Secures America’s southern border
    • Increases oversight and accountability

###

Here’s what all those ballot numbers and letters are referring to for this fall’s election. A quick guide to what you’re going to see on the ballot.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been on the run lately, but I hadn’t really noticed a guide that simply states the constitutional amendments and ballot measures that will be on the ballot this fall in order by their assigned letters, so I created this one for the sake of my own knowledge:

AMENDMENT EAn amendment to the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, updating references to certain officeholders and persons. (Updating Constitutional language to include women)

AG’s Explanation: The South Dakota Constitution became effective upon the State joining the United States in 1889. The generic male pronouns he, his, and him are used in the text of the state constitution to reference certain officeholders or individuals. This amendment changes the text of the State Constitution to remove the use of generic male pronouns when referencing certain officeholders or individuals. For example, when referencing the Governor, instead of saying “he shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the state,” the text will be changed to read ‘the Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the state.” The amendment makes similar changes to other references to the Governor, as well as to references to other officeholders including Lieutenant Governor, supreme court Justices, and circuit court Judges. The amendment also makes similar changes to references in the Constitution to general classes of people such as persons, electors, and public officers.

AMENDMENT FAn amendment to the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, authorizing the state to impose work requirements on certain individuals who are eligible for expanded Medicaid. (self-explanatory, allowing work requirements to be imposed)

AG’s Explanation: The Medicaid program is funded by the State and the federal government to provide medical coverage for certain low-income people who qualify for the program. ln 2022, the voters approved a Constitutional provision that expanded Medicaid eligibility for any person over age 18 and under 65 whose income is at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, plus 5% of the federal poverty level for the applicable family size. This constitutional amendment authorizes the State to impose work requirements on any person eligible to receive benefits under the expanded Medicaid program, except for those persons who are physically or mentally disabled. The amendment does not identify any specific work requirement that may be imposed on those receiving expanded Medicaid benefits. Any work requirement proposed by the State must be approved by the federal government prior to implementation.

AMENDMENT GAn Amendment Establishing a Right to Abortion in the State Constitution. (self – explanatory)

AG’s Explanation: This initiated amendment establishes a constitutional right to an abortion and provides a legal framework for the regulation of abortion. This framework would override existing laws and regulations concerning abortion. The amendment establishes that during the first trimester a pregnant woman’s decision to obtain an abortion may not be regulated nor may regulations be imposed on the carrying out of an abortion. In the second trimester, the amendment allows the regulation of a pregnant woman’s abortion decision, and the regulation of carrying out an abortion. Any regulation of a pregnant woman’s abortion decision, or of an abortion, during the second trimester must be reasonably related to the physical health of the pregnant woman. In the third trimester, the amendment allows the regulation or prohibition of abortion except in those cases where the abortion is necessary to preserve the life or health of the pregnant woman. Whether an abortion is necessary during the third trimester must be determined by the pregnant woman’s physician according to the physician’s medical judgment. Judicial clarilication of the amendment may be necessary. The Legislature cannot alter the provisions of a constitutional amendment.

AMENDMENT HAn amendment to the South Dakota Constitution Establishing Top-Two Primary Elections. (Jungle Primary Measure)

AG’s Explanation: Currently, to appear on the general election ballot, major party candidates for the following offices must participate in a partisan primary election: Governor, State Legislature, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and elected county offices. Only members of the candidate’s party may vote for that candidate unless that party has opened the primary to voters not affiliated with the party. Minor party candidates may be chosen by primary or party convention. Unaffiliated candidates (independents) are only required to file nominating petitions to appear on the general election ballot. For the listed offices, this amendment requires one primary election wherein all candidates run against each other in their respective races, including major and minor party and unaffiliated candidates. A candidate may list any party next to their name on the ballot regardless of party affiliation or registration. All voters may vote for any candidate. The two candidates receiving the most votes advance to the general election. If there is more than one candidate to be elected to an office, the number of candidates advancing to the general election is twice the number to be elected. Primary elections may be held for other offices. The amendment may be challenged on constitutional grounds.

INITIATED MEASURE 28An Initiated Measure Prohibiting Taxes on Anything Sold for Human Consumption. (Removal of Food Tax)

AG’s Explanation: Currently, the State collects tax on the sale or use of certain goods, including foods and drinks. Many municipalities also collect these taxes. This initiated measure prohibits the State from collecting sales or use tax on anything sold for human consumption. The measure eliminates these sources of revenue for the State. Human consumption is not defined by state law. However, its common definition includes more than foods and drinks. The measure does not prohibit the collection of sales or use tax on alcoholic beverages or prepared food. Prepared food is defined by law to include food that is sold heated or with utensils. The measure may affect the State’s obligations under the tobacco master settlement agreement and the streamlined sales tax agreement. The master settlement agreement resulted from multi-state lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers for the public health effects of smoking. South Dakota’s annual share of the master settlement agreement is approximately $20 million. The streamlined sales tax agreement is a multistate program designed to simplify the collection of sales and use tax for companies selling in multiple jurisdictions. Judicial or legislative clarification of the measure will be necessary.

INITIATED MEASURE 29An Initiated Measure Legalizing the Recreational Use, Possession, and Distribution of Marijuana. (self – explanatory)

AG’s Explanation: This initiated measure allows individuals 21 years of age or older to possess, grow, ingest, and distribute marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia. Individuals may possess up to two ounces of marijuana in a form other than marijuana concentrate or other marduana products. Individuals may possess up to six marijuana plants with no more than twelve plants per household. The measure also places limits on the possession of other forms of marijuana and marijuana products. Under the measure, the possession, ingestion, and distribution of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia remains illegal for individuals under the age of 21. Driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal. The measure restricts where individuals may possess or conslrme marijuana, such as schools or where tobacco is prohibited. The measure allows employers to restrict an employee’s use of marijuana. Property owners may also regulate the use of marijuana on their property. The measure does not affect State laws dealing with hemp. It also does not change laws concerning the State’s medical marijuana program. The measure legalizes marijuana-derived substances considered felony controlled substances under State law. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Judicial or legislative clarification of this measure may be necessary

Have you figured out your votes yet?

Weible to Monae Johnson: Resign! Johnson to Weible: Go pound sand.

KELOland News is reporting that despite unsuccessful D8 Senate Candidate Rick Weible’s demands for the Secretary of State to resign, she does not intend to act on his request:

Rick Weible, who describes himself as an election integrity expert, called for Johnson, her deputy Thomas Deadrick and the board’s members to all resign.

and..

“The claims, accusations and half-truths from South Dakota Canvassing do not warrant for any of us to resign,” Johnson said.

and..

“My office works hard with the county auditors to ensure that South Dakota has safe, secure, accurate and transparent elections. Just because someone claims fraud does not mean that there is. The dis-and misinformation that is being broadcast is a shame.”

Read the entire story here.

And the happy state of politics continues to march on in South Dakota.

SDDP National Committeeman Dennis Olson, Committeewoman Deb Knecht announce campaigns for another term of office

With his announcement on Facebook, Dennis Olson of Huron, SD has emerged as the first candidate for office in the State Democratic Party’s Convention being held this weekend in Oacoma, SD:

Olson (a fellow button collector) has previously served in the position for one term.

SDDP National Committeewoman Deb Knecht is also seeking another term in her position:

 

 

State Democrats are yet to tip their hand as to whether they will be offering a candidate for Public Utilities Commission. Current candidates include the incumbent Republican PUC Commissioner Kristie Fiegen, and recently announced Libertarian candidate Gideon Oakes.

Attorney General Jackley Confirms SCOTUS Abortion Pill Ruling Does Not Impact State Abortion Law

Attorney General Jackley Confirms SCOTUS Abortion Pill Ruling Does Not Impact State Abortion Law

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms that Thursday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to restrict access to mifepristone, a widely used abortion pill, does not impact South Dakota’s current abortion law.

A group of anti-abortion doctors and medical associations challenged changes made by the Food and Drug Administration in the past 10 years that allowed more access to mifepristone.  Attorney General Jackley earlier this year had joined 21 other attorneys general in supporting the group’s opposition to the FDA policies.

In its decision, the Supreme Court did not address whether the FDA lawfully acted when it had relaxed the rules for mifepristone’s use. Rather, the justices based their unanimous decision on procedural grounds, ruling that the opponents did not have the legal right to bring the suit against the FDA.

South Dakota abortion law makes it a Class 6 felony for anyone “who administers to any pregnant female or prescribes or procures for any pregnant female” a means for an abortion, except to save the life of the mother. The crime is punishable by two years in prison, a $4,000 fine or both.

“The court’s decision does not change the current FDA rules, and State law on mifepristone remains the same,” said Attorney General Jackley.

-30-

Court Hearings coming up for 2 former politicos on the wrong side of the law; Rocky Hayes and Shad Olson

June 2024 appears to be a month of reckoning for two former politicos who found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

After his case has been dragging on since mid-January of 2023, with multiple delays as the defense has kicked the can down the road, a former Jones Co. GOP Chair from 2020, Rocky Hayes will have his day in court for multiple charges of possessing child pornography, as the trial date has been replaced by a change of plea hearing set for June 25th at 2pm, according to UJS records.

Hayes was charged after child rape videos were discovered on his dropbox account, as noted by Sioux Falls Live:

After confirming from Midco via subpoena that the IP address belonged to Hayes, investigators continued searching through his Dropbox account, where they found two other files believed to depict child pornography. One file was a 9-second video depicting a girl, estimated to be 13 years old, performing a sex act, and another 15-minute video of a girl, estimated to be 8-10 years old, being raped.

and..

If convicted on all three counts, he could be sentenced to serve as many as 30 years in prison and pay up to $60,000 in fines. 

Read that story here.

And that can’t come soon enough.

Speaking of people accused of doing reprehensible things, Shad Olson is also scheduled to have another day in court next week, with a motions hearing scheduled for Friday, June 21.  If you’ve forgotten what the former newsreader, podcaster and media flak for Gordon Howie and Neal Tapio is accused of, let me remind you:

The victim expressed she felt lucky she was thrown on a carpeted floor, because the alleged assault did not leave her with broken bones.

and..

From there, the victim said Olson chased after her as she ran away from her home. They had been living together from some time, but she told the officer “she pays for everything in the home while Olson worries about the country,” the documents read.

The officer asked the victim if Olson had assaulted her before, with her replying “yes.”

The victim said Olson, who runs his own far-right, eponymic podcast, is “stressed over politics,” which influences his drinking. She then told the officer Olson blames his political frustrations on her.

Read the entire story here.

Olson is currently facing charges of Domestic Abuse Simple Assault, Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault (Strangulation), and Domestic Abuse Simple Assaults/recklessly causing bodily injury. The Aggravated Assault charge is a third degree felony, while the other charges are class 1 misdemeanors.

Stay tuned.

One month before a divisive, low-turnout primary, Open Primaries Amendment had nearly 55% support in South Dakota in recent poll.

South Dakota News Watch has a story about a poll conducted in South Dakota in mid-May among 500 participants, noting that the Open Primaries measure was tracking with nearly 55% support among South Dakota voters:

South Dakotans by a wide margin support a constitutional amendment that would change the way the state conducts primary elections, according to a scientific poll of 500 registered voters co-sponsored by South Dakota News Watch.

The statewide survey, also sponsored by the Chiesman Center for Democracy at the University of South Dakota, showed that 55% of respondents favored the plan to change the state’s election format, with 33% opposed and 12% undecided.

That’s a jump in support from a similarly structured November 2023 poll, which showed 49% supporting the measure, 34% opposed and 17% undecided.

Read the entire story here.

This might portend a stormy campaign for those in the Republican Party who oppose this measure, as this polling came before the divisive primary election that was just held, with the lowest turnout in the 30 years of statewide tracking on primary election voter turnout.

Further complicating it for opponents is that the most organized opponent to the measure, the South Dakota Republican Party, finds it’s fundraising at a low point, and may be scrounging for resources to do it’s primary job – support Republican candidates this election – much less to mount an organized effort in opposing a ballot measure, which is secondary to it’s purpose of electing candidates.

I’ve spoken to a number of Republicans who have moved off of strong opposition to Open Primaries to more or less ambivalence in the wake of an election that put some fringe Republicans in the driver’s seat for the fall contest.  And that may not be good for those opposed to the Amendment.

With 55% support before the primary, I’ll be more curious to hear an updated benchmark of where it is after the primary.

That may be even more telling.